One of the most successful basketball coaches in Fair Lawn history is bringing his expertise to Mahwah.
Alan Clements, who led the Fair Lawn varsity girls basketball team to back-to-back NBIAL league championships in 2008 and 2009, started Monday as the T-Birds new coach. Last year’s head coach Michael Branagh moved to the boys program this year.
Clements brings an impressive resume – he’s coached basketball and volleyball on and off since the late 1970s at both the high school and college level. When he retired from his 11-year stint as basketball coach at Fair Lawn High School in 2010, he was the winningest coach in the school’s history.
“I’m a single dad. My two kids are 18 and 20, so [in 2010] they were starting the college search process and I felt like it was time to leave and be home more for them,” Clements said. “Now they are both in college, and I want to get back in the game.”
Clements is originally from Nashville, Tenn., and moved to Bergen County 26 years ago. He still teaches physical education and driver’s education at Fair Lawn High School.
Though he played golf in high school and college, Clements said he’s always been drawn to coaching basketball.
“I’ve been coaching the sport in one way or another since I was 15 years old,” he said. “I love the excitement of the game. I’ve coached volleyball, and there, most of the coaching is during practice. In basketball, you can really contribute during the game. You make adjustments as you go.”
And, from following the T-Birds in the pre-season, Clements said he is excited to start the new season in Mahwah.
“I think there’s a lot of talent [on the team], but they have no idea how good they’re going to be,” he said. “I’m excited. I like to see the players really improve.”